GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
For the week ending 08/17/03
Satan's Cosmic System
1 Timothy 4:1-2
Revelation 12:7-9 And there was a battle in heaven, Michael and his army of elect angels fought against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. [They once had a place in heaven, but were evicted by Michael and the angelic order of battle.] And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
Satan and all the fallen angels are thrown out of heaven and confined to planet earth. Satan's next trip is to the Abyss, a compartment of Hades, REV 20:1-3, and his angels will take their final trip from earth to the lake of fire inREV 20:10.
The one divine attribute that Satan desires to possess most of all is divine power, the omnipotence of God. No one ever wanted power more than Satan. He does have the power to manipulate, as he demonstrated with the woman in the garden. Satan knew that the woman could handle the man, so all he had to do was to handle the woman. When creatures want power, they are arrogant, and arrogance is very easy to fall into; power is much more difficult to attain. The only thing that satisfies arrogance is power. Arrogance and power lust are a good way to ruin your life in a hurry. Satan always lusted for the power of God, something that he will never have. God is omnipotent, meaning all-powerful and limitless in ability. He is called "God Almighty" in GEN 17:1, "Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, 'I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless.'"
He is the King of Glory, He created and sustains the universe, and He does as He pleases, PSA 24:8, ISA 40:26,JER 27:5. God's power is not manifested by muscle but rather by His Word. When He returns at the Second Advent, He comes with power, and His name is called the Word of God, REV 19:11-15. As HEB 1:3 states, "He upholds all things by the word of His power." This power is also used by God to keep all believers safe for Him forever in 1PE 1:5, "You are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
When we understand the omnipotence of God, we will be assured that nothing is too hard for Him. We recognize the power of prayer when we will realize that prayer is weakness leaning on omnipotence. No matter what you're going through or what problems or difficulties you are facing, nothing is too hard or difficult for Him to handle. As the Lord Jesus Christ said in MAT 19:26, "With God all things are possible." Job said, after he went through more suffering than anyone else live, in JOB 42:2, "I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose or plan of Yours can be restrained." God's plan goes on whether we are winners or losers; whether we fail or succeed, we cannot stop God's plan. God's plan goes on with or without us.
All three members of the Trinity possess omnipotence. The power or omnipotence of God is that ability and strength whereby He can bring to pass whatsoever He pleases, whatsoever His infinite wisdom may direct, and whatsoever His justice may resolve. As justice is the guardian of divine essence and the beauty of all of God's attributes, so omnipotence is that which gives life and action to the attributes of God. Omnipotence gives sovereignty the power to rule, gives love the power to express itself, gives justice the power to judge, and gives righteousness the power to evaluate. David said in PSA 62:11, "Once God has spoken; twice I have heard this, that power belongs to God." All God has to do is speak once; nothing more is necessary. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but His Word abides forever.
God's power is unlimited; however, not everything that happens is from the power of God. God has allowed both angels and mankind to possess volition, and both angels and mankind have used that volition in a negative way. There was a man who fortunately learned that God will do whatever he wants to do and no one can stop Him; his name was Nebuchadnezzar. After he was through fighting with God and rebelling against Him, he finally has a change of heart and repentance in DAN 4:34-37.
DAN 4:34-37 "But at the end of that period I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation. And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, 'What hast Thou done?' At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride."
EZE 28:12 says concerning Satan, "Thus says the Lord God, 'You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.'" If there is anything that can destroy talent, beauty, intelligence, or anything else worthwhile, it is arrogance. It begins with the thought of arrogance, which leads to the decision and action of arrogance.
The original sin among angelic creatures, like the original sin among human creatures, occurred in perfect environment. Adam was perfect in beauty and in intellect, just as Satan was. Satan was created as the greatest genius of all God's creatures in perfect environment; he never had to acquire these things. He had everything that people ordinarily associate with happiness, but he wanted something more-God's power, and for the first time arrogance became a factor. Arrogance promotes ambition, specifically inordinate ambition. The lust for power has its roots in arrogance, and it is much more than the ability to manipulate people; it starts with preoccupation with self.
In REV 12:9, Satan "deceives the whole world." His strategy is deception, and he has one goal in the life of every believer-to lead us astray. The cosmic system is Satan's classroom for deception. The term "cosmic system" is derived from the Greek word kosmos, and its meaning includes more than just "the world"; it refers to a system, a system of thinking, a lifestyle. The cosmic system is Satan's strategy as the ruler of this world to control believers; it is his policy for the rulership of this world. The cosmic system is composed of two separate power systems:
1. Cosmic one is Satan's exploitation of believers through their own arrogance. This is his means of controlling the human race. The cosmic system is based upon pride and arrogance, which was invented by Satan, for arrogance was his original sin.
2. Cosmic two is Satan's propaganda and indoctrination college organized to educate and promote antagonism toward anything related to God, especially the grace of God.
Cosmic one represents Satan's attitude at the time of his prehistoric fall in Isa 14, the five "I Will's":
· I will ascend to heaven.
· I will raise my throne above the stars of God.
· I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the North.
· I will ascend above the heights of the clouds.
· I will make myself like the Most High.
Cosmic two represents Satan's attitude at the time of Adam's fall in the garden of Eden, GEN 3:4-5, "You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
In order for Satan to rule, he must accomplish two goals:
1. The control of arrogance over the believer's life. The believer becomes divorced from the reality of God's plan.
2. Antagonism toward Bible doctrine.
Only through the perception, metabolization, and application of doctrine do believers have any hope of becoming tactically victorious, complementing our Lord's strategic victory in the angelic conflict.
There are two ways in which the cosmic system can influence the unbeliever:
1. Demon possession is demon invasion of the body of an unbeliever by one or more demons. (Because of the indwelling of all three members of the Trinity, no demon can indwell the body of a believer.) This demon invasion cannot occur without the unbeliever's consent. Even the unbeliever has a volitional protection given by God, but under certain conditions, demons do enter the body of unbelievers. Demon possession is generally related to religion, the phallic cult, and the emotional revolt of the soul. Demons themselves possess so much energy that when they indwell a human being, many forms of neurotic and psychotic behavior are manifested. Demons themselves are not actually erratic, but their influence on the body is. Therefore, the scripture teaches that demons can cause:
· Mental diseases, MAR 5:1?13.
· Dumbness and deafness, MAR 9:25.
· Dumbness and blindness, MAT 12:22.
· Epilepsy, MAR 1:26; MAR 9:20.
· Convulsions, MAR 1:26; MAR 9:20.
· Abnormal violence, MAT 8:28.
· Abnormal strength, MAR 5:4, LUK 8:29.
· Raving, screaming, MAR 5:5.
· Self-mutilation, MAR 5:5.
· Foaming at the mouth, MAR 9:20, LUK 9:29.
· Nakedness in public, LUK 8:27.
· Living among dead bodies, MAR 5:3.
· Grinding the teeth, MAR 9:18.
· Self-destructive behavior, MAT 17:15 (exposing oneself to known danger).
2. Demon influence of unbelievers is invasion of the soul through the doctrines of demons, i.e., cosmic thinking, 1TI 4:1-2, "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron."
All unbelievers live in spiritual death and are influenced by the cosmic system to varying degrees. However, unbelievers do have a great protection against Satan's system. This protection begins with his own volition, and how he responds to the only system of truth an unbeliever can understand-the laws of divine establishment. The surest way for the unbeliever to fall into Satan's cosmic system is to reject the legitimate authority in life found in the laws of divine establishment. Arrogance is the inevitable result of rejection of authority.
The believer is not vulnerable to the demonization of his body. However, the believer can come under demon influence. Demon influence is the invasion of the soul with Satanic propaganda, the doctrines of demons mentioned in1TI 4:1, all of which relate to the cosmic system. Demon invasion of one's thought affects self-consciousness, volition, and mental attitude, and many believers actually become psychotic.
ROM 8:5-8 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
The Bible warns believers against the demonization of their soul, 1JO 2:15-16, "Stop loving the cosmos [cosmic one]or anything related to it. If anyone keeps loving the cosmos [cosmic one], the love of the Father [personal love for God, spiritual self-esteem] is not in Him. Because all that is in the cosmos [cosmic one], the lust of the flesh [the old sin nature controlling soul], and the lust of the eyes [motivational arrogance], and the arrogant pattern of life[functional arrogance], is not from the Father but from the cosmos."
The believer who enters the cosmic system through sin and remains there will produce human good and evil. He gives the devil an opportunity to deceive him and destroy his spiritual life through moral or immoral degeneracy. He can escape from the cosmic system only through the rebound technique.
The issue of spiritual living versus cosmic living is seen in JAM 4:6, "But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it [PRO 3:34] says, "God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
God is "making war" against believers who allow arrogance to control their lives. James continues in JAM 4:7,"Submit therefore to God [life inside the predesigned plan of God]. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
You resist the devil by life inside the predesigned plan of God, the filling of the Spirit, enforced and genuine humility. The devil cannot touch any believer inside the predesigned plan of God. In Jam 4:8, we are instructed to "Draw near to God [spiritual momentum] and He will draw near to you [motivational virtue]. Cleanse your hands, you sinners[rebound]; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." Then verse nine adds, "Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy to gloom." This is the mandate to every believer living in the cosmic system. Since most believers are living in the cosmic system today, they are miserable, and they are constantly trying to compensate for their misery by finding some superficial system of happiness. It is absolutely impossible for any believer to live in the cosmic system and have happiness. Finally, we are given a great command and promise in verse 10, "Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you." Humility, which is freedom from arrogance, means waiting on God's timing instead of following our own will. This is life, function, and momentum inside the predesigned plan of God, and becoming a winner believer and an invisible hero.
For a more detailed study, order tapes IA11-301 to IA11-303.